Was this the reason the Big East has been keeping Temple waiting around this whole time? So they could use them as a stop-gap when everything’s literally about to hit the fan? Considering the options for Syracuse (and Pittsburgh) were to play conference teams twice, face several top-10 programs in one year or schedule three FCS schools (is that even allowed?), this seems like the best solution for us. But what does the Big East really gain here? We break it down:
- An eight-team football league for 2012. This was a key sticking point after West Virginia‘s departure left so many of their current member schools in a lurch. Now, at least schools like SU don’t have to go out and fill two open dates on such short (and late) notice. The league also won’t need a waiver to maintain its BCS status next season.
- One of its original (football) members back. Yes, Temple was part of the league on a football-only basis from 1991-2004. And what a terrible, awful period that was.
- Another basketball-rich school located in the northeast. Temple’s got history and should help cushion the fall once the three departing schools are gone. However, this also leads us to:
- A pissed-off Villanova. Now there’s no way the Wildcats ever get the call up to the Big East in football. With another team in their city, their bottom-line gets hit in two sports and they become the likely second game in town.
- A 12-team league prior to Navy‘s arrival in 2015. This now makes them a 13-team league in football, and 18 in basketball. And the basketball side is clearly worse.
Pointing back to that last bullet, adding Temple now allows the league to go to a divisional format in 2013, likely without SU and Pitt. Does it appease a school like Louisville, who’s still really hoping to leave sooner rather than later? Definitely not. But at least it creates the guise of stability, and for the schools involved in this odd geographic amalgamation, that’s really all that matters anymore.
While Temple has been more successful of late, they’ve still lacked a key component of “success”: titles. They have none (even playing in the MAC these past few years), and unfortunately, that adds nothing in the big scheme of things. And being real for a few, is Temple unaware of what this looks like? Desperation and a know-no-bounds desire to “fit in” (sounds like high school) had them waiting on the doorstep for that last-resort invite to prom. Sad.
We’ll keep updating this space as details become official. In the meantime, check out the Conference Realignment section for all the latest on the subject.